December 10, 2010

A year in Eternity...

I've been in a reflective mood this week.  Maybe it has to do with the time of year: its not only the end of 2010, but its also been a year exactly since Salesi and I started this adventure.  Last night I saw the sliver moon hung low across the western horizon where the blazing glorious sun had just extinguished into the black shadowed surface of the sea.  In a mist of reflection, I found myself looking at the roads not taken.  I took myself back to crossroads, where I chose a path which led to another crossroad, chose again, which led to another path, and so on and so forth.  My thinking reminded me of those books I read in elementary school, the choose your own adventure stories, where at the end of each chapter you had two or more choices which each had a different outcome; these stories were trippy to read because there were multiple possibilities and multiple endings.  I think maybe subconsciously, I templated the choose your own adventure style since I was in the fourth grade and have been living my life according to this strange narrative flow, where the plot not only thickens, but branches out in spindly spider webs of intricate and elegant design, befuddling the notion of temporal linearity.

How did I come to choose this path that led me here to live on a beach on this island of my ancestors?  

This finite piece of land surrounded by blue expanse gets to me in a deep subconscious way, sets my mind outside of time's indelicate teeth, where thoughts don't register and aren't even necessarily connected together.  In this mushy Oceanic temporality of overlapping dream space, I'm dazed that a year ago I had just finished a four year PhD degree, and rather than search for a career or job, came to live a dream.  Looking back I can't really account for the chain of events that led me here to this current state; neither does this current state feel like a dream imbued with otherworldliness.  Its got a texture and a taste that is seeping into my skin; I probably take for granted 65% of the magic, while clinging to my negative thought patterns, which in this isolation is easy to do try as I might to ignore my own mind chatter. 

So has it really been a year since we first arrived?  I don't count days, and the calendar keeps peeling its way off the wall, wilting like a flower with a weak stem.  I've counted days in bones, and feel the weeks in weather patterns not necessarily in groupings of sevens.  Rather, a unit will be the few weeks of sunny weather, then a rainy week, then a shift in more months, weeks, or days.

Coastal erosion

The black bowl looks to be an umu pit (earth oven)
Speaking of counting bones, I don't find many bones washing up the beach anymore.  Did I tell you I did?  
After Cyclone Renee on Valentine's Day 2010, for months after, I'd walk the beach and rebury bones that had been unearthed from the liku (windward) side of the island, the side that took the full frontal assault of the cyclone's fury, the same side that has hundreds of year's worth of burial grounds, sandy loamy burial grounds, that just got eroded away, shifting the remains of our dead, washing them out to sea, bleaching the bones in the blazing sun, salting them in the lapping of tides, to be gathered up by me, and buried once again - quickly, and with a prayer - before the spirit might look at us in time, and long for the days, the hours, the seasons of human life in all its fullness....Rest in paradise, and walk along the white sand beaches of eternity.  

For if eternity were to be a place, would not it be an island in the sea?  It does seem more than a year we've been here....seems more like an Eternity...
Cave towards Eternity